Of the greatest archetypes in the universe, none is as emulated as the wise-cracking Detective-type. In fact, entire RPGs are based on this theme! But I digress. This post is to discuss quickly some things I recently noticed and may infer through my detective skills...
We all know that GW loves to drop hints for upcoming releases well ahead of time. Remember the Dreadnought's cameo in a battle report all those years ago? It was months before the plastic version was finally released. Remember that crazy writing that randomly appeared in White Dwarf waaaaay back in '01? It turned out to be a Tau message to the Imperium, and the Tau were introduced to 40k a few months later. Have you noticed the Azrael image on the spine of the last few months' White Dwarfs? Obviously, this means Dark Angels will be getting some love soon.
In fact, it seems that the rumour-mill has pounded the idea of the new starter box contents being Dark Angels and Chaos Space Marines. To steal from this unconfirmed source, the contents are apparently as follows:
-10 Tactical Marines
-5 Chosen Marines
Now I don't think this is a very strong balance between the two forces, if this turns out to be true, but then look at the current starter kit. Or the one before that. And before that. Yeah, balance is not the key to a starter kit. In any case, here's my source (and even they claim it's not reliable, so take it with a bit of salt): http://apocalypse40k.blogspot.com/2012/04/flyers-gw-2012-release-schedule-6th.html
So what have I gleaned from this? If true, this means that a)Cultists make it into the Chaos Marine codex! Yay! As a Word Bearer, I find this to be completely welcome and even well past-due. b)Chosen may become beefed-up Troops or just damned amazing! and c)Possessed may actually become useable in smaller games, which would mean a reduction in points-cost or even simple abilities (i.e. no stupid roll to gamble on goodness). As far as the Dark Angels, well... they're Dark Angels, so what is there to say? They've been the same for decades now, so no surprises there.
So there's some cool clues for ya. But, much like an infommercial- THERE'S MORE!!!
If anyone has taken the time to pick up the White Dwarf this month, there's some cool bits in there. Go grab your magazine (at least the three of you that still bother to pick one up each month, that is) and open to page 75. You'll notice it's the start of the 'Death Worlds' mini-dex with a few scenarios. These scenarios may hold some clues you may not have noticed...
Pg 78- Scoring units... In the current edition, only Troops are scoring. However, these scenarios allow for all infantry, jump infantry, cavalry, and bikes to count as scoring. Is this for a single scenario? Nope. I would venture to guess that 40k 6th Edition may redefine 'scoring' units as this list.
Pg 80-84- Deployment/First Turn... Notice that all three scenarios require the players to deploy differently than the current rules. In the current game, one player sets up their whole army at once and then usually goes first. But these scenarios require players to take turns deploying one unit at a time and then to roll off to see who goes first. I feel like 6th ed. may be returning to this format for game setup.
Pg 80-85- Deployment... See how all three scenarios are split length-wise? Now I don't know if this means that the three basic versions of setup for these scenarios means that all 6th edition games will be this way, but it is an interesting situation that there are now three distinct types of deployment zones, all using the same pattern. Most specifically, check out the pg. 85 deployment, with the table split into 6 sectors. Not only do I think this is actually brilliant, but it does fit quite nicely with the Realm of Battle tables. Wouldn't it be obvious to use this as a potential deployment instead of the common 'table quarters'?
Now, check out the battle report starting on page 86. This is definitely stretching, but you never know...
Pg 87- Army Lists... Notice how small these armies are? I'm not saying that this is gonna be normal, but is 6th edition gonna go down in points for the main focus? We know most gamers out there have gazillions of points and thousands of models, and we know that new hobbyists have a hard time getting into the hobby because the Hobby Centers no longer recruit as well as they used to, but also (and much more obviously) because the price to collect an army has shot upwards to almost unaffordable. How should GW fix this so they continue to grow the business in the future? Why not drop the size of games so the cost isn't as high and 'noobs' are not-so-easily discouraged to get into it?
Pg 89- the Battle itself... In the entire three-page battle report, the Tyranids assaulted into combat twice, while the Space Wolves only did so once. But here's the kicker- on this page it seemed that both players got their respective move and shoot phases in order and then charged at the same time. I may be reading too deeply into an abridged report, but the impression I got from this is that a turn works like this: Player 1 moves then shoots, player 2 moves then shoots, player 1 assaults, player 2 assaults. Maybe GW is gonna use an 'integrated turn sequence' where each player gets to act in each phase of the game before moving to the next phase. Wouldn't that actually be kinda cool?
Do I know this stuff to be even a possibility? No I don't. Do I think or hope these extrapolations will be true? Nope, it's not scientific. I make no judgements until the new edition's book is IN MY HANDS. That's why I haven't looked at the online version of the 'leaked rulebook' and why I haven't called my 'Fortress Monastary' and badgered my many sources. I simply refuse to fall for the rumour-mongering. But I can't help but point out certain observations. After all, my service to the Imperium taught me that clues are everywhere, if you just know where to look... :-)